TDG Banner

Expansion of the United States


Some thinkers believe the transition from state to federal started soon after the Constitution was written--which means the federal government extended beyond the reach that founding fathers had originally intended. In other words, a very strong federal presence started early in this young nation.

If there wasn't a strong federal presence, would the 13 original colonies been united enough to effect the geographical expansion? Consider the following historical achievements:

1) Louisiana purchase

2) Repelling the British out of Michigan

3) Florida purchase

4) Annexation of Texas

5) Annexation of SW US

6) Oregon Territory Settlement

7) Alaska purchase

8) Annexation of Hawaii


If the 13 states had been acting more or less as independent countries, it's not hard to envision that three or four states not committing to one of these particular causes. Then the political drive and the resources to effect the expansion might not have been there.  In other words, the United States was able to expand because it had a strong federal government. Why then should the USA want to curtail these powers today?


Smaller is Better 

There is a common platitude that smaller government is better government. And government from a smaller jurisdiction is more able to administer to the local people than a bigger jurisdiction. 

If this is true, then state government is superior to federal government, right?

If so, then should we not even go smaller? Maybe all counties should have their own FBI, high school curriculum, and vehicle registration. Or just divide up the country in Rhode-Island sized bits, and give each unit its own government. Should that not fix many of the political problems America seems to be facing?

And some states are too big or too diverse to be governed well. Why should a dairy farmer in upstate New York have his regulations decided by New York City? Why not split California into three or more distinct states? 


It’s all Smokescreen  

I say reverting government authority from the federal to state level is mostly a smokescreen for what really ails America: the political parties. 

The real debate should be about the political parties: can we govern without them and how do we get rid of them?

Published on Writerbeat 2017

Federal, Provincial, & Municipal